So what do you do when your dad, grandfather, father-in-law turns 70???? You celebrate the man, that’s what you do.
You get your family together, hire a photographer and you head to Detroit even if it’s one of the coldest days of the year. Then you get the hand warmers out and surround that man.
He needs to know that he is still everyones number 1, coolest grandpa ever.
and everyones coolest dad ever, and that you love him so enough to capture all the honest, down to earth love you have for each other.
It must be pretty mind blowing to create a family, watch it grow and then watch them create a family of their own. At some point or another I’m sure one wonders if all the challenges, sacrifices , hard work and tough decisions are noticed. And then other times if all the right decisions , sweet love, patience and best work will pay off. But then they drag you out on a family adventure in Detroit just for you and you know, you know you must’ve done a lot of things right because here they all are giving you all that love right back.
When I asked him which one of his kids he was most proud of. He looked at them from afar, though about it then flashed me this warm smile and said… ‘All of them’. Happy birthday Dale, stay awesome!
Today, I was reminded of how soul quenching it can be to hang out with your family. How for a kids small and big alike, getting together with your aunts, cousins, uncles and grandparents can make all the difference. Today, as my mom was giving me all the details about her recent Argentina trip and how fun it was to spend the holidays with everyone. It made me remember what the holidays were like for me as a kid with that big, fun wild family and it made me think of this family I took photographs of over the holidays. They hired me as a gift for grandma, to take PHOTOGRAPHS of their family since everyone was in town and together.
Look how sweet they all are! They were so fun to be around, so much so that my face actually hurt from smiling when I left. You could actually feel the warmth and comfort of their family.
It all starts with these 3 guys. Coming from a mom of boys I now have a totally different appreciation for brothers and these guys just got you right where brothers should. They’re fun, full of laughs and trouble.
I can imaging that as grandparents, these 2 sit down with all their grandchildren and feel a tremendous sense of pride & love. Looking at them I thought… you did it, you created a tight knight, loving family full of all the things that make hard work, hard lessons and relentless love all worth while.
As my mom went on and on about how everyone has changed since the last time I saw them and what everyone is doing now it made me think about all those old pictures I have during the holidays with my aunts, uncles and cousins. It made me reflect on what a gift it is to be able to spend the holidays with your family. A blessing for brothers, cousins, sisters and grandparents. A blessing that is not lost on me and clearly not lost on them. This family right here, this is why I became a photographer and why I can’t stop.
It’s not surprising that the pics to follow are some of my favorite. To me, they encompass what a family gathering should be. Full of fun, unscripted moments that only come from an authentic kind of family love. “Catch the moments of your life. Catch them while you’re young and quick, because sooner than you know you’ll be old and slow. And there will be no more of them to catch.”
That last quote is from that show that makes me cry every week and lights a fire in my belly to help people get good photographs of themselves. That one show… This is Us
‘Your photos are the keepers of your people, experiences and countless untold stories – it’s only right to give them the front-and-center stage they deserve.’ Creating a gallery wall is the best way to let your personal images command the attention they deserve. Not to mention that it can fit any budget and make a great statement in any room. You can transform a boring & lifeless wall quickly with a little planning and creativity but I know it can feel like a daunting task so here’s a few tips to get your juices flowing.
- Start with a focal point :: The center of the display should be at eye level.
- Go big :: Pick an image that you love and display it in a large size.
- Play around :: Make templates of your frames by cutting out their shape/size on color paper. Tape those cutouts on your wall and switch up what you don’t like. It’s an easy way to see how your configuration will look before you start nailing your walls.
- Mix it up :: Choose a mix of pictures, art & decor like a clock or a mirror. If you need some art that no one will have, check out some of my pieces here :: View & purchase unique pieces or copy and past this link https://genevievedevries.shootproof.com/gallery/5963831
- Keep it attractive :: Print a few extra pictures and put them all in the same frame then switch the pictures you are displaying in that frame throughout the year. Doing it ahead of time will make it easier for you to switch it up on a whim and it will keep your walls exciting.
Below are a few examples of gallery wall configurations but there is plenty out there in the world of blogs and pinterest. Just google ‘gallery wall how to‘ and be inspired. Happy designing!!!
For a teens room, make it fun!!
Great above a couch, bed, table or crib.
Is there any friendship better than cousins??? I have such a genuine love for mine, I remember feeling like we were a “crew”. I remember traveling long distances to go see them, hopping on buses and trains and being so excited to go see them. We are worlds apart now but I always remember them with the same kind of love I had for them then. I recently got to take a few photographs of this family in Birmingham, Michigan. As I stepped back to place them perfectly in this frame they giggled and talked it reminded me of how amazing a cousins place in a family is. Just look at how lovely they are..
Just hanging out with this fun group brought me back to those days and how careless they were. If you are lucky enough to have a close relationship with your cousin, the kind of fun and honest relationship that you see in the picture below then cherish it….
And please, please, please take a few moments to get some pictures of them for they will live on for many many years and one day they WILL look at the and remember how amazing their relationship was.
There is no grater love than the one of a close knit family.
I photograph these teenage senior girls more often these days and I am impressed every single time. Impressed because they are so strong, encouraged because they are so smart and humbled because I know that one by one they are taking like by the horns. I look at them through my lens and wonder if they actually know how beautiful they are because girls are so hard on themselves and each other. I met Elizabeth during our SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHY session in ROYAL OAK and within 10 minutes I was so proud of her because she is so smart and has such big dreams. You can just tell that she has a clear path in life, a strong head to guide her and big heart to ground her.
I remembered a speech I heard on TV once and I though I thought it would be appropriate
“So you see, if you listen to all the people who make these rules, you might just conclude that the safest course of action is just to take your diploma and crawl under your bed. But let me propose an alternative. Hold on to your dreams. Take up the challenge of forging an identity that transcends yourself. Transcend yourself and you will find yourself … There is no dress rehearsal for life, and you will have to ad lib your way through each scene. The only way to prepare is to do what you have done: Get the best possible education; continue to learn from literature, scripture, and history, to understand the human experience as best you can so that you have guideposts charting the terrain toward whatever decisions are right for you.”
The future is female Elizabeth , Get it girl!!!
A wise woman recently posted this and it’s currently sitting on my heart so I will share with you in hopes that it will remind you of how blessed we are to have our days here on earth. Here goes:::::
Remember this as you go through life, “Beginnings are scary. Endings are sad. It’s the middle that counts”
I have a friend that is making her days count in a way that puts us all to shame and I am lucky enough to photographs just a few minutes of that middle part. Ladies and gentleman, This is amazing Amanda and her sweet little, strong and beautiful crew.
I heart these little people. I don’t know what it is but my face lights up every time I see them. They go to school with my boys and it’s been so fun to see them grow. Mind blowing really.
They hired me to be their PHOTOGRAPHER this year. I got to take pictures of them at a park in Plymouth and this is what happened. I can’t get over how beautiful they are. You too Ann 🙂 Oh and you too Phil.